Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of an FCT High Court in Apo, on Tuesday adjourned the trial of the former Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Bature Masari, until Dec. 12 .

The judge adjourned the case pending the ruling of another matter in the Federal High court on Nov. 27, to determine if the defendant can be tried twice on the same charge simultaneously.

The counsel to the defendant, Mamudu Magaji, informed the court that Masari was also standing trial before Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on the same charge filed by the EFCC.

He further told the court that the same witnesses and evidences were being used to try the case.

Magaji however said Justice Abang is to deliver a ruling to determine if both EFCC and ICPC can try him on the same charge.

Masari , was on Tuesday re-arraigned before the Court, over alleged N189.6 million money laundering.

He pleaded not guilty to the 25 counts, bordering on misappropriation, embezzlement and money laundering.

He was arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

The ICPC Counsel, George Lawal, had told the court that the defendant committed the alleged offence in 2014 while serving as the director-general of SMEDAN.

Lawal, said the defendant while in office received N50 million from Engineering Service and Hamshakim Ventures through his GTB account number 0022506116 as gratification for contracts award.

The prosecutor also said that the defendant collected another N20 million from Afrifarmers and Allied products consult Limited for award of contract.

He said the offences contravened the provisions of Sections 10(a)(i) and punishable under section 10(a)(ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.


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